Part 30: Act One Chapter Twenty-Seven - Come With Me If You Want To Live
I brought back the original crew for this mission. Shandra Jerro's life is in danger and we don't have time to mess around.
Looks like we're just in time.
: Take one team and capture the girl - alive. The rest of us will deal with this one.
"This one?" Cheers, mate.
There's a lot of githyanki here. This is just one team?
I think Shandra went in here. Come on!
Oh shit, son! You just got skewered!
One thing that I don't like about NWN2 combat (and combat in most games) is that bodies aren't persistent - they fade away shortly after death. It'd be nice to see the complete trail of bodies we were leaving in our wake.
Shandra's house is pretty big. She's got a hell of a lot of stuff for a dirt farmer who just lost her last crop of precious dirt to lizardmen arsonists.
More githyanki come pouring out of the woodwork.
: I'm trying to rescue you.
"Trying" being the key word.
: Looks like those things are trying to smoke us out. Well, it worked. Let's get out of here before this place collapses.
How many more of these githyanki are there?
: Anyway, I think it's best we part ways now - you go your way, I'll go mine.
: Wait a moment. I just rescued you.
This isn't what the Player's Handbook said would happen! This isn't what it said would happen at all!
Well, goodbye, Shandra. Don't say I didn't try.
: Do you think you can trust me now?
: Honestly, I don't know. But I'm done running from you... for now.
: Look, we really need to get out of here before more of these creatures show up. Do you know of anywhere safe that we can talk?
I wish I'd said that to Daeghun twenty-five updates ago.
: Why not? My barn's gone, my house is gone... are we leaving right away?
* * *
: This is Shandra - Shandra, Duncan. Duncan, Shandra.
: Grobnar, play a tune or something, make the lady feel welcome.
: Why, of course, I was just th-
: That's my Uncle. You can trust him.
: All right, I agreed to let you bring me here, now I want some answers.
: What happened at my farm? Who were those creatures? And why were they after me?
: "Calm down?" Calm down? You try being calm when your farm is attacked by monsters and burnt to the ground!
: The githyanki didn't want to kill you - they were after information.
Huh, a few words from Casavir and she calmed down pretty quick.
Shandra's arrival has just thrown our group into chaos. A hot girl appears and suddenly Duncan and Casavir are all over her - and Neeshka doesn't like that at all.
Hey, at least we're not male - Elanee and Neeshka flip a lid over the possibility that the main character might be attracted to Shandra.
: It is not what you know, but what Ammon Jerro knew.
: Ammon Jerro? He was my grandfather. Or my great-grandfather... or was it my great-great-grandfather?
: I heard he was an eccentric, but humble wizard - but he died a long time ago. What's he got to do with this whole mess?
: Do you know anything more about Ammon Jerro?
: I have no memory of meeting him. But my mother told me that he saw me a few times as a babe, but I was too young to remember.
: We need information stored in his Haven.
: My mother told me about the Haven when I was a child. I thought it was just a tale she used to make me do my chores on time.
: She always threatened to lock me in there if I wasn't a good girl.
: What else did your mother tell you about the Haven?
: Or... something like that. I think she was exaggerating.
: If Ammon Jerro was "eccentric, but humble," it's not likely his Haven is a place to fear.
Wishful thinking, Calliope.
The prototypical adventurer (and this is most strongly displayed in CRPGs, although it's strongly present in tabletop D&D as well) is a problem-solver, a Troubleshooter. Got a quest that needs doing? A dungeon that needs clearing? A villain who needs defeating? Call in the adventurers. It doesn't matter whether you're a humble village mayor or the goddamn king himself; you must always hire an adventurer to do what militias, guardsmen, armies cannot.
I mean, Axle had all the resources of the Shadow Thieves at his disposal, but instead he chose us to run his errands singlehandedly. Conversely, despite commanding the entire Neverwinter City Watch, Captain Brelaina was unable to stop a mid-level Rogue/Invisible Blade and her friends from turning the Docks into an independent criminal enclave.
Normally it's kept pretty quiet (The Witcher is the only RPG I can think of that outright states "You are a professional monster hunter") and the implication is that you're an 'ordinary' person that just happens to be the No.1 Problem-Solver in the whole universe. Okay, so maybe you're the son of a god as well, but that doesn't really explain why you can walk into any village anywhere and immediately resolve all subplots, problems and obstacles over the course of a week. Why do RPG people assume a total stranger will help them?
: Perhaps we should retire. We all could use the rest. Shandra, I believe Duncan has rooms upstairs.
: I do.
I bring this up because Shandra is Obsidian's subversive take on the cliche - instead of solving all of her problems, we create problems for her, and the more we interfere the worse they get. That's half the point of her character. We quiz her on the lizardmen harassing Highcliff, and her barn burns down. We track her down as the last living relative of Ammon Jerro, and her house burns down. We rescue her from the githyanki, and...
* * *
* * *
Are you kidding me?!
The inn's been overrun with githyanki - and we're on our own in the back corridors. Everyone else is in the main room - we'd best regroup.
We might kick ass as part of a group, but without our
Still, it's okay. We only need to kill the githyanki in the main room - and with seven mid-level companions fighting together, they don't last that long.
Wait a minute... seven?
* * *
Who is this guy, and what is he doing in my dramatic moment of crisis?
: Luskan... that's your territory, Bishop.
: Yes, but it's not my problem. I'm not going into Luskan territory for some farm girl, and certainly not with any kin of yours, Duncan.
: Shandra's life is at stake, we need your help.
: You'll help them, Bishop, whether you like it or not.
: A woman's life is at stake, Bishop. If that's what it takes to move you to do the right thing, then so be it.
: Fine, it will be worth it to be rid of you - and for such a small price, too. You're a fool, Duncan.
: So be it.
: All right, pack your bags and grab your weapons. We're bound for the Luskan border.